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The Rules of Storm Damage and Tax Deductions

8/23/2019 (Permalink)

Lightning strikes may cause building fires

Are Storm Losses Deductible?

Owning a commercial property and running a business are challenging tasks, even for the most well-equipped and educated people. However, the job of running a business becomes more complicated when a storm wreaks havoc on your building. Despite insurance, the expenses for recovery and restoration of storm damage can throw a wrench into the most organized operations. Therefore, when year's end rolls around and tax season begins, many business owners wonder whether storm losses are deductible, and if so, which ones and how much. Here are some things to take into consideration:

1. No Deductions for Deterioration or Accident Loss

While many losses are tax deductible, you cannot claim losses on deterioration or accidents. Deductions will only help you offset damage caused by natural disasters, not negligence.

2. Deductions for Storm Damage Coverage

Storm damage can come from various causes and produce a variety of losses. For example, lightning strikes may cause building fires, hurricane winds may send debris toward and through windows or heavy rains may cause flooding. All of these issues and the recovery from them can be deducted. However, if you have insurance and fail to make a claim, you cannot claim losses.

3. Universal Deductions for Declared Disasters

Some natural disasters result in universal deductions for the affected area. If the president declares a national disaster in your area of operation, you may be eligible for certain deductions laid out by the government.

4. Deductions for Restoration Work

Once a storm has passed, you may need to contact a storm remediation specialist in the Sleepy Hollow,IL, area to help you salvage your business. While insurers may pay a portion of the recovery and restoration costs, you may have to pay out-of-pocket for a part of the expenses. The portion that you pay can likely be deducted on your taxes.
Storm damage can be catastrophic not only for the damage to your business, but also in expenses for recovery. Be sure to keep your receipts, file your claims and hire a professional to help you rebuild.

How a Fire Restoration Specialist Can Help Your Business After a Fire

8/16/2019 (Permalink)

Specialist inspecting the area for damage

How Professionals Use The Fire Restoration Process

In the aftermath of a large fire, business owners might wonder if their business will ever recover from the smoke damage and when they can resume operations. Fortunately, if your business in Barrington Hills,IL, ever has to deal with this unfortunate circumstance, a fire restoration specialist can help restore your building and many of the items inside. Here is some information on how these professionals use the fire damage restoration process.

1. Inspection

After making contact with a restoration company, a specialist will immediately be sent out to your building. They begin by fully inspecting the area for damage.

2. Board-Up and Roof-Tarp

Once a plan has been made, the specialist starts by placing a tarp on your building’s roof and boarding up any walls or windows affected by fire or smoke damage. This helps keep the area safe to work in.

3. Water Removal

Next, the specialist will remove any water from the area to avoid the immediate damage flooding water can cause. Often, this water comes from hoses used to extinguish the flames or a burst pipe.

4. Smoke Cleaning

An important step in the fire restoration process is to remove smoke and soot from all surfaces of the building. This will also help prevent any further smoke or soot damage from spreading.

5. Sanitizing

Once smoke and soot have been removed from your building and belongings, everything will be cleaned and sanitized. This includes fully cleaning furniture and objects and odor removal.

6. Restoration

Finally, the specialist will work to get your building back to its original position. This step in the process may include rebuilding of drywall, installing new flooring, and other repairs.
While the priority in a fire is always to get everyone to safety, fire and smoke damage can be very damaging to the structure of the building and result in the loss of important documents, equipment, and more. Fortunately, there are many ways restoration specialists can help get you back on your feet.

Preventing Mold Damage Caused by Ice Dams

7/25/2019 (Permalink)

Mold growing on ceiling

Ice dams are a major concern for businesses in, West Dundee,IL. Not only can an ice dam cause water damage throughout a building, but it can also lead to mold growth. Find out how to prevent mold from growing in your building with these helpful tips.

Preventing Mold Growth

Mold, particularly black mold, requires a few key factors to grow. Understanding these factors can help you prevent your building from harboring areas of mold growth that can affect the air quality, smell, and professional look of the area. Here are the basic elements mold requires to grow:

  • Moisture
  • Warmth
  • Oxygen
  • Food

If your building is missing one of these, you’re unlikely to have mold growing in your walls or ceiling. However, all of these combined can lead to sudden mold growth.

Remediating Ice Dams

Ice dams are a large buildup of ice on your roof. The ice itself can be dangerous, as shingles can break off and large pieces of frozen water can suddenly fall from your commercial building. However, the biggest danger of ice dams is water buildup.

As temperatures rise, the ice on your roof will start to melt. However, the frozen areas on your eaves, or the edges of your commercial roof, will be the last to thaw. This creates a dam that allows water to pool on your roof. Most roofing materials aren’t designed to hold standing water, so you can expect water to sink past your roof line and soak into your ceiling and walls.

Choosing a Mold Specialist

Once water enters your walls, particularly if an ice dam consistently forms on your roof, it’s a recipe for mold growth. Hire an expert mold remediation company who is Faster to Any Sized Disaster. A professional mold cleanup will keep your building safe, your air clean and business running as usual. Ask a remediation company about ways to prevent ice dams from forming so that you can prevent further mold growing in your building.

What First Responders Need To Know About Floods

7/23/2019 (Permalink)

Flood damage in a home due to heavy rains.

As a first responder in Carpentersville, IL, you should know what to do before and during a disaster situation to safely and efficiently do the job. Floods, for example, can be caused by multiple sources:

  • Thunderstorms
  • Burst dams
  • Broken pipes
  • Leaky appliances

Being able to wisely navigate the different causes and hazards of a flood should increase job efficiency and personal safety.

Personal Safety During Flood Cleanup and Restoration

Being Properly Immunized

Immunizations are often an important defense measure when dealing with floods. A tetanus vaccination can protect against serious bacterial infection, and a booster should be given to adults every 10 years. For people working directly with those exposed to flood contaminants, Hepatitis B is also recommended and is given as a series of vaccinations. There are several other vaccinations that can be helpful, but tetanus and Hepatitis B are typically the most crucial.

Washing Hands

Hand washing, though it seems simple, can be extremely important for a flood response team. Depending on the source of the flood, there could be biological contaminants and mold in the water, and therefore on everything the water gets to. Washing with soap and water is often best, but using a hand sanitizer that is alcohol-based can also work in a pinch. 

Wearing Protective Clothing

Eye goggles and gloves are a should-have for a first responder, especially in areas with contaminated water. Clothing that has been treated to be chemical-resistant can also be a good idea, as well as sturdy boots that can handle the terrain. Make sure to launder anything that comes in contact with flood water before returning home, to minimize the danger of contamination.

Floods, no matter their source, can be hazardous to deal with. Following procedures and being smart can reduce the risk of any unwanted exposure to contaminants. Working as a first responder can be challenging, but using common sense and being prepared beforehand can go a long way to staying safe.

Content Cleaning After a Home Fire

7/18/2019 (Permalink)

House fire damage in West Dundee, IL

After experiencing a home fire, there is nothing worse than discovering that many of your personal belongings have been damaged by the flames, smoke, or water. Fortunately, a fire damage cleanup company located near you in West Dundee,IL, can aid you in sorting through your items and restoring and dry-cleaning any of your contents that are salvageable.

Which of My Belongings Can Be Restored?

When inspecting your items for any damage that has occurred, a fire damage restoration specialist will be able to determine which items are salvageable and which items are damaged beyond repair. There are special content cleaning processes in place for many types of items, but it is always safest to throw out any affected food items, medicine, or cosmetics. Other types of items that often can be salvaged include:

  • Furniture
  • Documents
  • Photographs
  • Clothing
  • Electronics

The Restoration Process

Depending on the type of item being cleaned, the restoration specialist might use dry-cleaning to help remove light residues followed by wet cleaning or a spray and wipe to remove heavy stains. Other items might need to undergo immersion, foam, or abrasive cleaning. Electronics will require special handling to prevent further damage and should never be turned on before the arrival of the restoration specialist.
If extensive damage has happened to your home, the first step the restoration specialist may take when restoring your belongings is to remove them from the fire or water damaged area and to put them in content storage. During the process, the specialist can also take inventory of your items which will help you keep track of everything you own and provide proof to insurance of what was lost.
It is reassuring to discover that many of your items can be saved after a fire. From a quick dry-cleaning to get rid of small marks to more thorough cleaning processes that completely remove signs of fire damage, there is a much a restoration specialist can do to help preserve your items.

Preparing Your Home for Flood Damage

7/10/2019 (Permalink)

Have your roof inspected

4 Ways to Avoid Flooding and Damage to Your Home

Imagine a fierce rainstorm pounding outside your home in Gilberts,IL, waking you from your sleep. You decide to get up to get a snack from the kitchen, but when your bare feet touch the carpet in the hallway, you discover it’s soaking wet, and your linoleum floor in the kitchen is covered in standing water. Could these raging waters have been avoided? Possibly. Here are four ways to avoid flooding and the damage it can bring.

1. Take inventory of your possessions.

Make a list of your personal belongings, supported with photographs and/or video. This will be valuable in the event you have to report an insurance claim for flood damage. This inventory should be stored in a waterproof container, with a backup copy in a secure off-site location, such as a safe deposit box.

2. Have your roof inspected and repaired if necessary. It is a good idea to have a reputable roofing contractor inspect your roof for any hidden leaks and make any necessary repairs. This can prevent you from having to make costly repairs at a later time, such as after flooding.

3. Have your trees trimmed. To prevent storm damage caused by overhanging tree limbs blowing against your house, have your trees trimmed ahead of time. Remove any dead limbs or trees. They are more likely to be broken during a storm, leading to damage to your home.

4. Make sure gutters and downspouts are cleaned. Your gutters should be cleaned and any leaks repaired. Check gutters regularly to make sure they are draining properly. Downspouts should be inspected and any clogs removed. To make sure rainwater is directed away from your home, use splash blocks or downspout extension pipes.

Hopefully, your home will never be devastated by flooding. Being proactive and taking steps ahead of time to prepare your home is a decision that can pay off in the long run. In the event that your home does take damage, however, an emergency restoration company can help you in the storm's aftermath.

Cleaning Your Belongings After a Fire

6/26/2019 (Permalink)

Cleaning Belongings after a fire can require a lot of work.

After a fire damages your Carpentersville, IL, home, facing the task of cleaning your belongings can be a challenge. Your clothing, furniture, carpeting and other items might have all suffered smoke and soot damage that can be difficult to remove on your own. However, there are some steps you can take to restore them, from sorting restorable belongings to having a fire remediation and restoration company use dry cleaning techniques and other industrial machinery to salvage as many possessions as possible after a blaze.

3 Steps to clean up your belongings after a fire.

  1. Gauge What Might Be Saved

Once fire officials have let you know it is safe to re-enter your home, the first step you may want to take is sorting through smoke-damaged items and finding those that could still be salvaged. Most non-porous items, such as metal kitchen items and certain types of building materials can be wiped clean or sanitized in boiling water. 

  1. Sort Out Saved Items

Once you find items you wish to salvage, sort them into piles so the company that handles your content cleaning does not have to work with one large pile of different belongings. This can also make the process more efficient. If any of the items have both smoke and water damage, keep these separate and ask your restoration company if they will require a different restoration process. 

  1. Note Building Cleaning Requirements

While restoration specialists can use dry cleaning machines on your clothing and other items, cleaning soot and smoke from your walls, ceiling and carpeting may be more of a challenge. As you note which rooms have sustained such damage, you can work with your fire damage techs and discuss whether you will require content storage for your cleaned items while stationery sections of your home are cleaned with industrial foggers and air sanitizing machines. 

Cleaning items after a fire affects your Carpentersville, IL, home does not have to be an insurmountable task. From sorting your items efficiently to reaching out to a professional restoration company for dry cleaning and air purification services, there are several steps you can take to reclaim your property from the ravages of fire. 

Eliminating Storm Wind Damage

6/26/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage in Illinois

One of the biggest dangers during a driving storm in Carpentersville, IL, can be flying debris. Whether it is a thunderstorm, tornado, hurricane, or gale force winds, the airborne fragments can seriously damage buildings, animals, and people. Your property can sustain damage as the storm rips off siding, shingles, and doors. And far flung debris can crash through windows and puncture outbuildings. Add rain or melting snow to the mix and a roof leak can develop in no time.

Cleaning up after suffering storm damage.

Preventative Steps

Evaluating possible problems and correcting them can limit the amount of damage your building incurs. Check the roof for torn or missing shingles and replace if necessary. This can prevent additional damage to the roofing fabric and a potential roof leak. 

Windows and doors can be vulnerable access points for vicious storms. Covering windows with plywood or shutters can often save the panes from breaking and prevent additional water damage.

Assess Properties

Commercial buildings often have outdoor areas with seating, chairs, and trash receptacles. Any of these can turn into deadly projectiles if hurled against the building. If the items cannot be moved indoors, consider anchoring them with straps and cables, or bolting each permanently to the ground. 

Trees that are too close to the building or power lines can also be a danger during torrential storms. Not only can the trees fall and cause a damaged roof, but the limbs can break and become missiles. To prevent this, have the trees trimmed away from utility lines and buildings to prevent damage to the structure. If the main body of the tree is taller than the building and close enough to fall, consider having it removed.

Quick Cleanup

No matter how prepared you are, storm damage such as a roof leak can still occur after an unpleasant storm. At the first sign of water damage, contact a storm cleanup and restoration team to assess the property loss. The team can respond immediately and help keep your building open and your business running.

What to Do About Smoke Odor Damage After a Fire

6/25/2019 (Permalink)

After smoke or fire damage ceiling, walls, carpets, and floors will need a thorough cleaning

How to Minimize Fire Damage Before Help Arrives

If your business in East Dundee, IL, has been struck by a fire, it may be damaged in many different ways. Aside from structural damage, damage from smoke odor may also be present and can severely harm your commercial building. If an odor from residual smoke has spread throughout your building, it’s crucial to schedule a smoke cleaning with a professional. Here are some simple steps you can take to minimize the damage before help arrives.

Clean HVAC System

If you allow smoke particles to linger in your HVAC system, they can continue to affect the air quality of your building. Be sure to do the following as soon as possible to remove any residual smoke from your ventilation system:

  • Replace air conditioning filters
  • Have HVAC system inspected
  • Contact a professional to clean out air ducts

It’s vital to take action immediately if you suspect smoke damage in your business. Failing to address lingering smoke can cause it to further permeate the air and harm your commercial building.

Remove Damaged Objects

All items in your building that have been damaged by smoke must be removed from the affected area right away. This may include any window screens, cushions or rugs that are found around your building. Anything that can be washed must be washed as quickly as possible in order to free it of smoke odor. However, a professional smoke cleaning should be conducted if furniture items such as desks and couches have been damaged.

Clean Carpets

Removing smoke from carpets is a difficult step as the particles can become embedded in the material. To alleviate the odor, try cleaning your carpets with baking soda and then let it sit for a few hours. You can also choose to steam clean the carpeting, although this should be done with care. It’s best to avoid damaging any aspects of your building if possible.

When your commercial building in  East Dundee, IL, is affected by smoke damage, taking immediate action is vital. Contact professional restoration services for a smoke cleaning and have your business restored in no time.

3 Ways To Mitigate Water Damage

6/19/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO has the tools and equipment to check for related damage and restore the property

Water Damaged Restoration Professionals Recommended

For a business in Sleepy Hollow,IL, the possibility of having to conduct a pipe burst cleanup, can seem daunting. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to mitigate potential water damage before the problem even occurs. Here are a few many water damaged restoration professionals recommend.

1.Regularly Inspect the Plumbing

One way to protect your business property against water damage is too regularly inspect for any potential problems. This may include looking for potential supply line leaking, pooling under windows, puddling in basement areas, proper drainage, checking pipe joints, and other potential problems. It's recommended to schedule a professional to go through this process regularly.

2. Have a Professional Conduct Repairs

In the event the property does experience water damage and a pipe burst cleanup is necessary, it may be best to contact a professional to conduct any repairs. A water damage restoration service such as SERVPRO has the tools and equipment, as well as knowledge, to check for related damage and restore the property back to working order. They may also be able to help ensure that no mold growth is found, and advise as to any mitigation steps you may want to take.

3. Start Mitigation Early

Preventing a water cleanup can start before you even think the property may have problems. Some easy steps include ensuring that there are proper gutter and drain spouts to catch storm water runoff from the roof and direct it away from the building, checking that landscaping is sloped away from the building to avoid pooling water around the foundation, and that any gutters and drainage ditches are kept clear of debris to prevent overflow.
There are some easy mitigation steps you can take before water damage even become the problem. Remember to regularly inspect your plumbing, and if you to experience problems talk to a professional about any pipe burst cleanup needs you may have.